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Hayneedle.com Improves Email Efficiency & Open Rates

Relevancy is key in any email campaign. With customers getting inundated each day with countless messaging, it’s imperative to present the right offer to each customer to optimize your message’s value.

Recognized by Internet Retailer as a Top 100 site and by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s fastest growing companies, Hayneedle.com is a leading online retailer of home furnishings and lifestyle products. The company, originally founded in 2002, continues to experience tremendous growth. As the company’s email volume increased, it soon found the CPM pricing model charged by its ESP as cost-prohibitive to its growth.

The company’s email marketing strategy is an integral part of its business model. It’s a key customer retention channel due to cost and its ability to highly target messaging to targeted customers.

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In May 2009, the online retailer tapped email and social media solutions provider StrongMail Systems with a primariy goal to improve its deliverability and maximize its email campaigns.

Maximizing Messaging

StrongMail offers Hayneedle.com detailed reporting on the percentage of emails going directly into the inbox, the Junk folder or the Spam folder by all the major email providers. “By identifying these percentages we can reach out to the appropriate companies to lobby to get 100% deliverability into customers’ inbox,” said Brad Cundall, Customer Marketing Manager, Hayneedle.com. “Prior to Strongmail we were a small fish in a big pond and our reporting only showed whether or not the email was delivered.  Messages could have been sent to the junk or spam folders but it still counted as delivered, and we could not break it down by email provider. Now we have a more sophisticated system that truly helps with building relationships for loyal customers.” Cundall said email is the company’s main channel for customer communication.

By tapping the StrongMail email deliverability technology and services, Hayneedle.com said its delivery rate increased 93.9% in 2008 to 97.5% in 2009, resulting in a 10.4% year-over-year increase in the number of emails delivered to customers.

Increasing Efficiency

In addition to improving its deliverability rate, Hayneedle.com also boasts a 10 percent year-over-year increase in its open rate via improved inbox delivery and testing features. These two critical metrics contributed to helping Hayneedle.com double its sales during the same period.  Hayneedle.com has also reduced its costs by taking advantage of StrongMail’s integration capabilities to reduce manual processes.

“By integrating StrongMail’s reporting with our Oracle business intelligence system, we are able to attach email status to all customer behavior, which we’re using to build lifetime value and retention,” Cundall said. “We have much better visibility into our mailings, which enables us to react more quickly than were able to before — and that has led to greater customer relevancy, improved conversions and increased revenue.”

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